Articles by Michael Bourne
November 18, 2014
As creative writing education continues to expand from a narrow field pursued by a devoted few to a profitable industry employing thousands, perhaps we should pause a moment to reflect on precisely what is being sold and what assumptions underlie the transaction.
September 30, 2014
The voice at the center of Bright Lights may be spoiled and petulant, but it also is unmistakably American: fatally romantic, distrustful of authority, and democratic to a fault, even as it sounds its barbaric yawp over the rooftop parties of the world.
September 10, 2014
There are the makings of an explosive novel here, but Landis, having set the bomb in place and struck the match, declines to light the fuse.
July 17, 2014
A less-heralded casualty of the digital age is the disintegration of the lower rungs of the ladder that have long led young, smart readers into the caste of professional tastemakers.
June 27, 2014
If One Story Collected is a stethoscope to the heart of contemporary American fiction, the news is good: despite a run of economic shocks to the publishing industry, the muscle that pumps fresh blood into the system is still beating like a tom-tom.
May 13, 2014
Everyone has had a close relationship that works better as a friendship than as a romance, and at some half-drunken moment of intimacy, everyone has wondered why. “New Year’s” seems a story poised to answer this very human question, and then, for some reason, it simply doesn’t.
April 28, 2014
When we talk about books, we tend to think in terms of great works of art and forget that for most people books are merely a handy thing to have around for that idle moment when there isn’t something else better to do. Now those idle moments are being filled by screens.
April 15, 2014
Surely, high-frequency trading is more complicated than Lewis’s portrait, but if he hadn’t found a way to boil down this highly technical issue to an emotionally satisfying tale of good vs. evil, most of us would never have known it existed.
March 27, 2014
For most white Americans born outside the South, the Civil Rights Movement is the stuff of history books — fascinating, but abstract. For people like Taylor and myself, whose families were profoundly shaped by the civil rights struggle before we were born, that turbulent era is acutely personal, and at the same time distant and exotic.
March 4, 2014
What was clearly intended as a series of artsy-smartsy essays examining the state of play in literary America too often comes off as an extended moan of self-pity from a once-cosseted corner of Brownstone Brooklyn.